Landsec, the commercial property giant, has completed the acquisition of the St David’s shopping centre in Cardiff, along with the adjacent vacant Debenhams store. This move is part of Landsec’s strategy to capitalize on the strong performance of the centre and to enhance its appeal even further.

In a separate transaction, Landsec purchased all of the debt secured against the 50% share of the St David’s asset previously owned by the failed Intu business. The purchase price represents a significant discount compared to the book value of Landsec’s existing share of the centre.

The decision to acquire the remaining half of St David’s is supported by the shopping centre’s positive business performance. With brands continuing to prefer prime locations, St David’s has seen a surge in interest. Since March 2022, 36 leases have been signed or are in progress, with notable brands like Zara, Footasylum, and The Fragrance Shop relocating or expanding their presence. This has boosted the occupancy rate from 88.1% in March 2021 to 93.1% at the beginning of this year. Additionally, retail sales for the financial year have surpassed the previous year by 15% and are in line with pre-pandemic levels.

The acquisition of the vacant Debenhams store presents an opportunity for Landsec to further improve the centre. The company plans to introduce new public spaces, enhance food and beverage options, and refresh the mix of brands. This strategic move is expected to generate a high single-digit income return on the additional capital expenditure.

Bruce Findlay, Managing Director of Retail at Landsec, expressed his excitement about acquiring the final stake in St David’s. He views this as a testament to Landsec’s ability to seize complex opportunities and drive their placemaking plans for the dominant retail destination in Wales. With an annual footfall of 27 million, St David’s aligns with Landsec’s vision for the future of shopping centres.

Findlay also highlighted the ongoing trend of brands favoring prime locations and emphasized that Landsec’s investment comes at a favorable time when values are attractive. The company anticipates significant returns from this transaction.

Useful Links:
1. Landsec Official Website
2. St David’s Shopping Centre Website